[Pictures: David Straight]
We’ve taken some artistic licence with the name of this place. In English it’s called “Tasty Takeaway” which dates from when this really was some low-level takeout joint. But Chinese friends assure us the Mandarin sign in the window means Little Fatty: shengjian mantou, pot-sticker buns native to Shanghai. We discovered them in Shanghai last year, came home obsessed and went looking for a local outlet.
We found them here. There’s barely an English menu and the staff are consistently bemused to see a white face, although they are very friendly. There is always Chinese television blaring in the corner – recently, we watched a talent show, entranced, while we ate. (You’ll be relieved to know that despite the bare-bones environs, the place has an “A” hygiene rating.)
Little Fatty has many things on the menu: most are pretty good – we’re quite fond of the curry beef noodle soup ($9). But you’re really here for shengjian, or more prosaically, “fried pork bun” ($4 for four). They are a bit bready rather than delicate, and they have pork and stock inside – to make them, they fill the raw bun mixture with chilled stock and pork, which is jelly-like. Then they’re fried in a big cast-iron wok, so that they’re steamed on top and crispy brown on the bottom. The genius is that as they’re fried, the stock melts so inside, there is a bit of hot soup on which you may or may not burn your mouth. Technically they’re for breakfast, but you can eat them at any time of day and we suggest you do. SFG
HOURS 11am to midnight, seven days.
ADDRESS 898 New North Road, Mount Albert.
OF NOTE Cash only – there’s an ASB cash machine across the road.